Flex­ing @90

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Soccer Cricket Sport - Sun­day Life Re­porter

A 90-YEAR-OLD Ntabazin­duna dancer, Ly­dia Machibi stunned a crown of more than 1 000 peo­ple who at­tended King Mzi­likazi Com­mem­o­ra­tions with captivating dance moves at Old Bu­l­awayo last week.

Machibi said the se­cret to her long life was danc­ing and singing which kept her stress-free.

“Danc­ing keeps me strong and fit while singing keeps me happy and re­duces heart dis­eases and pre­vents high blood pres­sure. Reg­u­lar ex­er­cise helps me man­age a wide range of health prob­lems in­clud­ing stroke and de­pres­sion. Danc­ing is the sort of ex­er­cise that im­proves my mood and helps blow off some steam on a stress­ful day,” said the el­derly from the out­skirts of Bu­l­awayo, a mem­ber of Mangwe Cul­tural Dance Group.

Machibi added that she ate a bal­anced diet which en­abled her to have a long last­ing ca­reer.

“Tra­di­tional food has al­ways been my first op­tion. My fa­ther was a farmer so veg­eta­bles were al­ways avail­able at home. I guess that was the rea­son I al­ways chose veg­eta­bles over meat. Harm­ful sub­stances such as smok­ing or ex­ces­sive al­co­hol con­sump­tion re­duce the years that God has given us. Pos­i­tive healthy steps that peo­ple should adopt in­clude drink­ing plenty of wa­ter and fre­quent hand wash­ing af­ter vis­it­ing the toi­let,” she added.

Machibi urged youths to be care­ful on sex­ual ac­tiv­i­ties to pre­vent risks of get­ting deadly dis­eases.

“Sex­ual ab­sti­nence is the only 100 per­cent guar­an­tee that you won’t get sex­u­ally-trans­mit­ted siseases. They (youths) should un­der­stand that by en­gag­ing in un­pro­tected sex they could be dig­ging their own graves,” she said.

Machibi said she had 13 chil­dren, and 12 of them have since died.

“It’s quite un­be­liev­able that I once had 13 chil­dren but now I only have one. It’s a very heart­break­ing sub­ject but be­ing a widow has taught me to be strong. I have al­ways worked hard to put food on the ta­ble. I also thank God who gave me good neigh­bours in Ntabazin­duna who al­ways look out for me when I need help,” she said.

Machibi was born in 1926 in South Africa but re­lo­cated to Zim­babwe more than 50 years back. She has been stay­ing in Ntabazin­duna where she is a mem­ber of Mangwe group which mainly com­prises el­derly peo­ple and pro­duces tra­di­tional mu­sic of the Nde­bele cul­ture. Machibi is still as fit as a fid­dle, and con­tin­ues to mes­merise the public with her ex­hil­a­rat­ing danc­ing moves and sweet voice.

Bheku­muzi Ncube

Ly­dia Machibi

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